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Comment: Re:Automation and unemployment (Score 1) 602

by bitspotter (#42235393) Attached to: A US Apple Factory May Be Robot City

Yeah, because we made a transition to a socialist economy. We called it the New Deal. Also, massive government spending and entitlement programs known as World War II and the GI Bill.

These policies not only forestalled the problem of automation, they lead to the most propsperous generation of in human history. And now that they're being steadily dismantled, goodness - here comes poverty again! It's like 1937 all over again.

The Luddites were right - their livelihoods were devastated, right on schedule, and as predicted.

It's a bit mind-boggling to hear people use the excuse that "it's never happened before", when the reason it's never happened before happens to be the policy positions they oppose.

Comment: Re:Automation and unemployment (Score 1) 602

by bitspotter (#42235293) Attached to: A US Apple Factory May Be Robot City

Business don't chase customers - they chase dollars.

GDP isn't a measure of how many people buy things; it's a measure of how fast dollars are spent. Automation doesn't slow down demand or sales in itself. It jsut shifts the profile of the most lucrative target markest. Businesses will just adapt what they produce to suit the needs of those with the money. If those people are fewer and wealthier, then so be it. Automation itself does not threaten the economy as whole. The GDP can continue to grow while actual people fail to benefit.

So, yes - human beings do indeed get impoverished and put out to pasture.

-

Then again, I can't help but notice that wealthy people loan and invest more money than they spend. Wealthier people do spend more, but the ratio of spending (which fuels the GDP) to investments (which don't) decreases with greater wealth. In terms of actually //selling// goods and services to them, they might indeed be a less lucrative market segment in general, especially as the population of that segment shrinks.

Comment: Turing Test? (Score 1) 36

by bitspotter (#41977537) Attached to: Fabricating Nature and a Physical Turing Test

The analogy to the Turing Test doesn't make any sense.

The Turing Test was proposed as a way to tell if a human-made thing is intelligent, based on an inability to distinguish them from non-human-made things that are assumed to be intelligent, after you conceal all the factors that allow you to tell if the subjects were or weren't human-made.

The author is proposing the Turing Test is a way to tell if a human-made thing is human-made, based on an inability to distinguish them from non-human-made things that are assumed to be non-human-made, after you conceal all the factors that allow you to tell if the subjects were or weren't human-made.

You're trying to control for the same thing you're testing for.

Comment: Open Sourcing... to a Select Group (Score 1) 227

by bitspotter (#41815243) Attached to: Designing DNA Specific Bio-Weapons

> The authors propose open-sourcing the president's genetic information to a select group of security-cleared researchers

Um... I don't think whoever said that understands what "open source" actually means.

This is the same problem with Mark Shuttleworth's recent insistence that letting a some non-employees in on unreleased software projects somehow makes them more "open" or "transparent". The point is not whether the monks in your cathedral draw a paycheck. It's that you're still discriminating about who will and won't be participating in the project.

If it's not open to //anyone//, it's not open at all.

Comment: Re:Long term goals (Score 1) 308

by bitspotter (#37405344) Attached to: The Rise of Robotic Labor

Markets don't chase buyers; they chase //dollars//.

The market isn't losing dollars, it's losing human participants. So the answer to your question of who will buy the stuff the robots make is easy: whoever has the money! The market will have to adjust to fewer, richer buyers, but they already know how to do that. Mass unemployment isn't going to counterbalance itself through self-reinforcing market mechanisms. It will just exclude people, and continue operating. It doesn't need all of us.

Comment: Bad Summary - False Dichotomy (Score 1) 241

by bitspotter (#36396252) Attached to: Google Asks 'Who Cares Where Your Data Is?'

The main concerns about data location and sovereignty ARE privacy and security. These two viewpoints aren't opposed. Sure, worrying about the location of your data //for its own sake// is silly. The big reason people worry about where their data is is WITH WHOM it is: whether they can be trusted not to snoop it, sell it, carelessly lose it, or cave to a subpoena or DMCA takedown. That's the whole point.

Comment: What For? (Score 1) 170

by bitspotter (#31338578) Attached to: One Quarter of Germans Happy To Have Chip Implants

I'm a little unclear on this concept. Why exactly would I want to have an ID chip implanted in my body for that I couldn't get from one that's in my pocket?

I suppose it would make it harder to steal, lose, or forget. But really? I haven't had any of those things happen to me in over 15 years.

And sometimes, I *want* to leave my ID at home.

Comment: Cognitive Dissonance? Are you Kidding? (Score 1) 870

by bitspotter (#30575452) Attached to: Anti-Technology Themes in James Cameron's <em>Avatar</em>

"This movie is anti-technology, because humans would never exploit foreign resources without the right tools for the job."

Did it ever occur to the poster that a creative, intelligent director who worked with the story's subject matter for years in production didn't encounter this "ironic" concept, and reject it out of hand as missing the point? It took me about 5 seconds.

"Technology" doesn't "force" us to strip-mine, deforest, privatize, pollute or pillage natural resources. Asserting so is an attempt to avoid responsibility for the uses we put our innovations to.

Let's try: "It is a poor workman that blames his tools."

Comment: Logic Fail (Score 1) 291

by bitspotter (#29608693) Attached to: Microsoft Blocks Pirates From Security Essentials Software

'I can't see any justification for making Microsoft give away Security Essentials [to counterfeit Windows users]'

Kind of like you can't see any justification for making Microsoft give a away... say... Windows?

And yet, pirates continue to manage getting copies of it.

Before you explore arguments about why to do or not do something, maybe you better work on the HOW first.

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